IVolunteer International is all about recognition and giving back; giving back to one’s community, to volunteers, to group work and certainly recognizing mutual efforts to participate in local, national, or international growth. As we have shared with you a couple of volunteer success stories and highlighted the minds behind it, we decided to start a Spotlight series about our own Executive Board, the people working behind the scenes.
Our Chief Operations Officer (COO)
Today we introduce to you Thimal, the reason you are able to browse through our website. Thimal is the “backbone behind our entire operations”, according to our Executive Director, Nipuna Ambanpola. As a Sri Lankan, Thimal grew up and went to school in Sri Lanka, but had no ordinary academic path. In 2014, he went to Australia to pursue higher education where he completed the Diploma of Information Technology at Swinburne University of Technology. In 2015, he started his Bachelor of Computer Science degree, but dropped out after a couple of months, and started a self-taught journey since then. No one can deny that he was gifted in school. In fact, he won a couple of prizes including being among the top 1% performers and First Place winner in IT projects in Sri Lanka. However, Thimal decided to learn more about IT on his own, which led to his abilities and willingness to create our website.
Getting involved with IVolunteer
Nipuna and Thimal met back in 2015. Nipuna knew right away of how great Thimal is as he saw a visionary leader in him. Though he is an introvert and reserved by nature, Thimal was open to his first experience as a volunteer and took care of all the needed technicalities for IVolunteer.
According to Nipuna, Thimal was “very patient and helpful” throughout the whole process. As IVolunteer is a virtual organization, one can only imagine the weight of having a good online presence and a presentable official website. Thimal has the skills to put everything together into one piece, you just need to clarify your idea and he will make it happen. He handles all IT and Operations for IVolunteer and has saved the organization from many technical downfalls over time.
“Thimal is in the game very patiently upgrading everything to suit our ever-improving volunteering platform. I’m thankful to him for his volunteer service every single day.” Said Nipuna, who considers Thimal a great friend.
Like Many of Us
Thimal is like many of us, still figuring out his path and cannot guarantee the future, but the one dream of his is to start his own technology company. The company would create products that are user-friendly to better the lives of others.
Thimal strikes as someone who likes to work in the background, but his willingness to research and learn what he does not know is exceptional. It is thanks to his hard work and commitment that IVolunteer receives hundreds of views, and is rightfully running.
When asked about any advice he would present to young minds just like him, he said: “don’t be restricted by what you learn in school or university. Learn by experimentation and try to think outside the box”. He certainly did, and that led to him being our COO.
IVolunteer International is a Gold Seal nonprofit organization on Guidestar. Operating from Savannah, Georgia, IVolunteer International connects volunteers to volunteer projects around the world. Since 2017, IVolunteer has connected over 3,000 volunteers worldwide. In 2019, World Trade Center Savannah selected IVolunteer International as finalists of the Peace Through Trade Competition. In 2020, IVolunteer International will develop and launch a geo-connecting mobile application which will be available to volunteers around the world.